If you've never raced at Longchamp or Chantilly, you should do it: if our sport can ever be described as 'genteel”, it's the French flavour at these two courses, that makes it so. From a purists perspective, the only thing that detracts from the delirium of a day at the French races, is their objection rule. Most countries adopt the view these days that unless the affected horse could have won the race, the result stands, whereas in France, as I understand it, the perpetrator of the interference or intimidation has to pay for it, whether or not it would've had an impact on the outcome. That's what happened at Longchamp on Sunday in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, effectively France's Group One juvenile championship, where the relegation of Gleneagles denied the world's best stallion, Galileo, a Group One double on the day. Gleneagles was clearly the best horse in the field, coming to win his race with relative ease, only to lean across the path of his pursuers after he'd made it safe.
In the event, it was left to Galileo's daughter Found, to wrap up the Prix Marcel Boussac (over the same trip for two-year-old fillies) and deliver the other leg of the Group One 'double', to become her sire's fourth group winner from his current juvenile crop. Two of the four - the ambitiously named John. F. Kennedy and the Group Two winner Highland Reel, have added further lustre to the golden Galileo/Danehill cross. However, the other two, Found and Gleneagles (already a Group One star of the National Stakes) have provided a timely reminder that Galileo's success story is far from one-dimensional. Found's dam hails from the male dynasty of Roberto, who is playing a sizeable role in Galileo's fortunes. To date, Galileo has sired Group winners from five different daughters of Roberto, as well as two grandsons. The broodmare sire with the most remarkable record is Silver Hawk, who's achieved 45% stakes winners with eleven Galileo foals, the more noteworthy for the presence of the Group One winners Nathaniel, Great Heavens and Seville among them. Galileo also has 22% stakes winners with daughters of Red Ransom, this recipe's best representative being the much-travelled Mahbooba, who carried the yellow and turquoise silks of Sheikh Mohammed bin Kalifah Al Maktoum to Group success in South Africa and overseas under the tutelage of Mike de Kock.
Found's broodmare sire, Intikhab was the best racing son of Red Ransom, and while he made a good sire of females in his own right with the likes of the outstanding international Group One ace, Snow Fairy, the filly that really put him on the map as a stallion was Red Evie, the dam of Found. One of only 36 foals in her sire's third crop, she rattled up the Group Ones in devastating style, including a victory against males in the Lockinge Stakes. Red Evie is the second daughter of Intikhab to shine in liaison with Galileo, her predecessor, Zarinia, having visited him on one of his shuttle visits to Australia. The resultant filly was our own Igugu, who was part-raised, educated and sold by Summerhill. She won ten of her twelve starts here, including history's first Triple Tiara, the Vodacom Durban July (Gr.1) and the J&B Met (Gr.1), on her way to a Horse Of The Year title. That earned her a place in the pantheon of our racing greats.